Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Case of Lucky Dip at the Lost Property Luggage Auction

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Case of Lucky Dip at the Lost Property Luggage Auction

Article excerpt


IT was a lost property auction doubling up as the ultimate lucky dip.

Hundreds of suitcases lost or abandoned at airports, train stations, on buses and the Tubewere for sale - but buyers knew nothing about the contents.

For a bid as small as [pounds sterling]5, they could walk away from Tooting auctioneers Greasby's clutching a bag of designer labels, expensive perfume and jewellery.

On the other hand, they could end up splashing out [pounds sterling]50 on a suitcase full of dirty washing.

Mother-of-two Louise Douglas, from Sussex, opened the five cases that cost her [pounds sterling]60 to discover a selection of men's designer clothes, which she plans to sell on the internet. "I will definitely come again," she said. "The place is a goldmine."

Melissa Maldek, 55, an interior designer from Richmond, opened her case to find a chemical gas mask used by soldiers.

She said: "I've been to loads of auctions but never picked up anything as bizarre and unusual as this.

It is quite exciting to imagine who it may have belonged to and where that person had been on holiday to need a piece of equipment like it."

She bid for a number of other lots and paid [pounds sterling]240 for a Forties platinum ring encrusted with seven diamonds, believing it could be worth as much as [pounds sterling]3,000.

"It's a little gift for myself," she said.

Auction regular Jack Michael, 53, said: "The luggage selection is a bit of a lottery because you never know what you are going to get. Most people end up with a sack of jumble which they flog at a car boot sale or on eBay. You have to be clever about which bags you choose. As a general rule, the more expensive the brand the more exciting the contents."

Stonewash jeans ... and Armani suit

Louise Douglas, 34, fulltime mother, from Sussex

Bought: navy Samsonite case full of ladies' clothing, [pounds sterling]12, red trolley case containing ladies clothing, [pounds sterling]10, grey and orange case containing ladies' and gents' clothing, [pounds sterling]14, green and silver case, gents' clothes, [pounds sterling]10, purple case, ladies' clothing, [pounds sterling]14. …

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